Just got my NEC ND-3500AG (silver) from Newegg, which replaced a LiteOn 811S that died prematurely (only 9 mos old). Installed fine, flashed to the latest fw v2.18, seemed fine at first (best I can remember it was burning fast, it's all a fog now from these probs), but it's now is taking ridiculously long to rip/burn (approx. 40-50 mins to burn ANY DVD+R, regardless of the app, and just as long if not longer to rip.) After double-checking the NEC website, I notice that a) the "silver" model isn't even listed...anywhere, and b) the fw I flashed was for the 3500A, not the 3500AG (does that make a diff?) I also remember when I flashed, that the NEC flasher showed the fw version as 2.18, but also prompted me to update to the 2.18 version I dl'd from NEC, there another problem there? (no, it didn't state that the versions were the same)
I'm using these apps:
Nero v184.108.40.206; DVD Decrypter v220.127.116.11; DVD Shrink v3.2; Alcohol 120% v1.5.7.
and this media...
Imation 8X RICHOJPN02 discs. Here's the results from DVD Identifier...
Unique Disc Identifier : [DVD+R:RICOHJPN-R02-003]
Disc & Book Type : [DVD+R] - [Not Available]
Manufacturer Name : [Ricoh Co. Ltd.]
Manufacturer ID : [RICOHJPN]
Media Type ID : [R02]
Product Revision : 
Blank Disc Capacity : [2,295,104 Sectors = 4,482.6MB = 4.38GB (4.70GB)]
Recording Speeds : [1x , 2.4x , 4x , 6x-8x]
See, even this reports that the media is capable of up to 8X, and I could live with that, but 1.5X? NO WAY!
System info is...
WinXP Pro w/SP2
AMD Athlon XP2200 w/784MB PC2700
MSI K7N2 mb
Seagate ST3120026A 120GB hd (master)
WD WD800JB 80GB hd (slave)
NEC ND-3500AG DVD+RW (master)
LiteOn LTR 48125W CD+RW (slave)
MSI GeForce4 Ti4200 128MB 8XAGP
I've verified that DMA is enabled on all drives within Windows and BIOS. Checked the media against NEC's Media List. On that it's listed as only 2.5X, but I can't even get that much out of it! Nice that these burned just fine on my unmodded 811S until the day it died.
I would prefer to keep this drive but between the slow record speeds and the lack of support from NEC in the US, I'm seriously considering sending it back. I've even gone ahead and ordered a LiteOn SOHW-1633S as a backup. I'm now considering flashing to a hacked fw update, but find this troubling as it would void the warranty.
I've read so much over the last few days trying to find a solution, it's all turned my brain to mush trying to keep it straight. So my questions to the "powers that be" are as follows...
1) What could be causing the painfully slow read/record speeds?
2) Is this drive possibly defective (or is it just me that's defective)?
3) If I flash to a hacked fw to improve speeds, is it possible to flash back to the original v2.18 should it not work and I need to return the unit (would Newegg even check fw version)? If so, how? (please staying in Win, I suk at DOS) and which hacked fw should I try to accomodate this media (have a ton left to go through before I can even think of trying a diff kind)?
4) IF I DO have to try other media, what brands should I look for? (please only local US retail, i.e. Walmart, Circuit City, OfficeMax, Office Depot, Target, Kmart, don't want to get into waiting on deliveries of DVD+R's in the mail too)
Much thanks and groveling from this NEC noob to any and all that can advise.